From an early age, play is important to a child’s development and learning. It isn’t just physical. It can involve cognitive, imaginative, creative, emotional and social aspects. It is the main way most children express their impulse to explore, experiment and understand. Children of all ages play.
-from Learning Space on openlearn.open.ac.uk (emphasis mine)
I ran across this quotation today on one of my favourite inspiring creative blogs – Daintytime – and it got me to thinking. (thinking enough, even, to jolt me out of this blogging drought I seem to have fallen into lately and bring the question to you, so that’s saying something)
Why do we consider play the domain only of children? What’s with that?!
What do you think? I’d be interested in hearing what some of you who have more knowledge of conventional psychology or who are educators and/or parents have to say on the topic. Do we really just ‘develop’ as children, and then at some magical cusp, reach full development and coast into completion as adults, fully formed, poised and realized, there to remain, still and inert and finished? Maybe you can tell from that last sentence that I truly don’t want to believe in that — certainly my own life doesn’t look or feel like that’s the path I’m on. Nor would I want it to. Doesn’t it sound a bit… boring? And stressful? Don’t you think that us “grown ups” should get to continue to explore, experiment, and understand, too?
Is it just that as adults we come up with fancier or more specific names for play? What sorts of things do you guys do that allows you to express and explore these important impulses?
I want to be a work in progress ’til the day I die. Are you with me?